We had the good fortune of connecting with Fletch Wiley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fletch, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Thought process? Ha!! I was a musician, married with two small children. I had a great gig with Andrae Crouch (wonderful black gospel artist) but it was time to get off the road and stay home. So I went into arranging and producing music back in the 70’s. Still didn’t totally get me off the road, but it helped.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up wanting to be a jazz trumpet player. Living in Seattle, I kept hearing about this little school in Denton, Texas: North Texas State University (now the Univ. of North Texas). They were doing radical things there and had a great faculty. I studied trumpet there, and learned how to play jazz (in their famed 1 O’Clock jazz band). Even though I got a graduate fellowship to Yale to study classical trumpet playing, I knew jazz was in my blood. So I left there and went back to Dallas. There were lots of challenges in the late 60’s, most formidably for musicians was drugs. I became a Christian in 1971 which turned my world upside down, in a good way. No more drugs, just music and life. I was fortunate, as I said, to play with Andrae Crouch and arrange some of his records (“Take Me Back” won a Grammy in 1975, which I arranged). I’ve spent the last 40 years pursuing music with a passion. While living in Houston I played with Paul English, still one of the city’s great jazz players.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would first find out where David Caceres is playing: an incredibly gifted sax player who happens to sing great! Always a music see/hear. Next you need to be careful on your dining: Houston has the best restaurants in the world and you might gain ten pounds (we just revisited La Griglia; STILL great!). You can get the best food from around the world in this city: every culture is represented with the highest quality dining and food. If/when the music venues open, do go to Jones Hall and hear their symphony, or go to an opera or ballet. Houston represents world class artistry in all three, which is saying something.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife, for sure. We’ve been married for 50 years, raised three children (and now have 8 grandkids), moved countless times chasing jobs, and are more in love today than ever. She IS my rock. We love football AND Jane Austen. She has encouraged me to follow the dream God gave me as a ten year old, when I got my first trumpet: Music.